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Erase MS

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Treated with the Swank Diet

Posted January 10, 2013

An effective treatment for multiple sclerosis symptoms was first introduced in 1948 by Dr. Roy Swank. It is a methodological alternative that uses dietary interventions to treat MS.

Well over 60 years ago, Dr. Swank developed a low-fat diet that had restrictive saturated fats and polyunsaturated oils. Back then, his research noted that his MS patients that consumed the diet lead a more productive and healthier life. By restricting fatty meats and red meats, and increasing vegetables, fruits, and grains, the diet seemed to alleviate many of the chronic symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Many of the first patients treated with this diet remained ambulatory and continued to lead independent lives following the regimen.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Too many individuals around the globe suffer from the symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis. Although the symptoms vary widely, they affect nerve fibers in a variety of locations. The symptoms can include:

Numbness and Weakness – Many people that suffer from multiple sclerosis tend to have weakness or numbness in at least one limb. It often occurs on just one side of the body or specifically on the body from the waist down.

Loss of Vision – MS suffers often experience a complete or partial loss of vision. It usually happens in a single eye at a time and is accompanied by pain whenever the eye is moved (optic neuritis).

Blurred Vision – Double vision or blurred vision is often a symptom of multiple sclerosis.

Fatigue & Dizziness

Electric-Shock Sensations – The sensation of electric shock can occur whenever there is movement of the head.

Tremors – Often a result of a lack of coordination, tremors are experienced along with an unsteady gait.

Individuals that suffer from multiple sclerosis, especially during the early stages of the disease, often experience continual relapses of symptoms. This may be followed by extensive periods of partial or complete remission. However, many of the symptoms and signs of MS can be triggered or made worse by the elevation of body temperature.
Dr. Swank noted that there are many foods that need to be avoided including butter, margarine, lard, shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter. Additionally hydrogenated oil and imitation dairy products seem to exacerbate many of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Although there are various theories that attempt to explain the how and why a diet seems to control the severity of many of the multiple sclerosis symptoms, no one really knows why. However, the bottom line is that many people that follow the Swank Diet tend to live a healthier life, work longer, and walk significantly better than those that do not. Early detection is shown to help slow its progression.

The Swank Diet consists of a variety of dietary eating conditions that include:

Saturated Fats – All saturated fat should not exceed an amount of 15 g each day.

Unsaturated Fats – The total of all unsaturated fats (oils) needs to be minimized to 20–50 g each day.

Avoidance of Red Meats – For the first year, no red meat should be consumed. After that, a maximum of 85 g or 3 ounces of red meat can be consumed every week.

Dairy Products – All consumed dairy products must never contain more than 1% butterfat.

Processed Foods – Consumption of processed foods cannot contain any saturated fat.

Omega-3 – Cod liver oil, cod liver oil tablets and oily fish should be consumed along with mineral supplements and multi-vitamins as recommended every day.

Wheat & Gluten – The consumption of wheat, gluten, or dairy products are not restricted on this diet. However, any food that causes an allergic reaction needs to be avoided.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.


  • I put myself on the Swank Diet three years ago. I've chosen to follow Swank rather than go on drugs.

    I've had no flare ups since being on the diet.

    anne said (9 years, 2 months ago)

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